The Reel Review
In this latest movie reboot of the wildly popular video game, an MMA fighter (Lewis Tan) discovers he is a “marked” mortal combatant who, with his counterparts, must save Earth from the the evil Outworld. Mortal Kombat is on HBO Max and in theaters.
For a brainless, potty-mouthed, fantasy action film, Mortal Kombat more than makes up for its flimsy story with an eye-popping array of visual effects. And make no mistake – it is laser-focused on delighting its fan base, which it gleefully does, replicating some of the wonderfully ghoulish, gory kills and catch phrases. It is not for the squeamish.
The film’s midsection, where the Earthy combatants must find their “arcana,” or special power, is also where it drags. But the film smartly never takes itself too seriously and the humor – mostly from Australian Josh Lawson as Kano – is actually pretty funny. No sooner can you say “Finish him!!!” and yet here we are with yet another franchise.
• Mortal Kombat’s graphic violence originally earned it an NC-17 rating, earning the R only after cutting down several gory and brutal fight scenes.
• Mortal Kombat star Lewis Tan is half Chinese half English. The former fashion model and stunt man’s film and TV credits include AMC’s Into the Badlands, Netflix’s Wu Assassins and Deadpool 2.
• Hiroyuki Sanada prepared for his role as Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion by playing Mortal Kombat video games. “Of course I was beaten every time, just losing and losing.”